Book Reveiw: The Vampire of Ropraz

Translated from its original text, this compelling tale based upon a true story, challenges the boundaries between horror and true crime. Set in 1905 deep in the Jura Mountains, superstition existed side by side with strict Protestantism. Isolation and poverty compounded by relentless bad weather created an atmosphere where dark secrets lurked. The horrific violation of three graves containing the remains of young women led to what amounted to a witch-hunt that focused on Charles Fevez, a stable boy discovered violating livestock.

Dubbed the Vampire of Ropraz, Fevez was as much a victim as the three young women. Removed from his abusive parents, Fevez was placed in foster care where he was brutalized daily, his life a misery of hunger and pain. Even in prison, Fevez could not escape sexual predators. After a sham trial, Fevez received a life sentence yet he may have the last laugh when it comes to light that the Unknown Solder entombed under the Arc de Triomphe may be none other then the Vampire of Ropraz.

Chessex’ stark, spare writing style exposes the story’s bare bones, creating a compelling tale that delves into prejudice, superstitious fears and base cruelties thinly veiled by social morals. A fascinating telling that will leave readers wondering who were the true criminals and victims.

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